Solved: How to Remove Reviews from Facebook, Google & Localsearch

26 April, 2019

9 mins read

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Removing negative reviews from online platforms can be challenging due to legal constraints and platform policies. The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 imposes strict guidelines on businesses, reviewers, and platforms regarding the removal of reviews. However, there are instances where the need for removal is justified.

Situations may arise where competitors leave malicious reviews, customers express unreasonable grievances, reviews are posted mistakenly, or personal relationships deteriorate. In such cases, steps can be taken to remove reviews from platforms like Facebook, Google, and Localsearch. It’s important to note that while efforts can be made, there is no guarantee of successful removal.

Simply disabling the review function on platforms like Facebook, Google Business Profile, or Localsearch Business Profile might seem like a solution. However, this approach can raise suspicions among potential customers. It’s crucial to maintain transparency and address feedback appropriately. If removing a review proves impossible, alternative strategies can be explored, as explained later in this article.

What does Google Business Profile consider inappropriate content?

Google outlines the following under their Maps User Contributed Content Policy Help page:

– Spam and fake content.
– Off-topic content.
– Restricted content.
– Illegal content.
– Terrorist content.
– Sexually explicit content.
– Offensive content.
– Dangerous and derogatory content.
– Impersonation.
– Conflict of interest.

A Localsearch Business Profile

Reviews submitted and requested for removal on a Localsearch business profile go through a manual process with our review management team. As we are Australian-based, we can provide support specific to our regulations, rather than a blanket process like other platforms.

To request to remove a review, all you need to do is email, ensuring you include your business information, your reason for wanting to remove your review and any evidence to back up your claim. Providing evidence will help speed up the process, however a decision is normally come to within 2 business days.

For us to remove a review, there will need to be evidence of:

  • Inappropriate or offensive language.
  • Being too vague (not outlining the experience).
  • Revealing any personal information.
  • The matter has progressed to a legal level.
  • A personal dispute (not an interaction with the business on a customer-to-business level).
  • It not being a review (such as an enquiry).
  • Defamation (reviews are generally understood to be in the opinion of the reviewer, so it must be a clear statement).
  • Information in the review is false or misleading.
  • The review is for a medical service.
  • The review is an exact duplicate from another platform.
  • A particular person is being targeted in an unfair matter.

For a full list, please visit the Localsearch Content Integrity page.

What to do if you can’t remove a review.

Not all reviews can or will be removed. But there are some steps you can take to help repair your reputation, even if the review is still there for the world to see.

  1. Try and resolve the issue with the reviewer and, if so, ask the reviewer if they’d be comfortable removing or updating their review.

    The only other person who can remove a review, other than someone on the platform, is the reviewer themselves. Resolving the matter with the reviewer and then removing the review not only gets rid of the negative feedback online, but it may mean a repeat customer too.

  2. Reply to the review in a polite and professional manner, requesting the reviewer to contact you. Do not point fingers or air your dirty laundry.

    Sometimes it’s not even the negative review that matters, it’s how the business has handled it. Potential customers want to know if something does go wrong, they’ll be taken seriously and you’ll do everything in your power to resolve the issue.

  3. Build your positive reviews by asking happy customers to review you on the platforms your business is listed.

    You can’t please everyone—and consumers know this. Try to keep your total star rating over 3.5 at the very minimum by asking happy customers to review your business. Be sure to reply to the positive reviews, as well as the negative.

    Using a review manager can help you do this easily.

  4. If you have good reason and evidence for removing a review but are unable to have it removed or resolve the matter with the reviewer, seek professional legal advice.

    As mentioned, review platforms have legal responsibilities in handling these matters too, which may restrict what they can do for you. If you feel, and have evidence of, an unfair review of your business, and you’re unsuccessful with having it removed, seek professional advice.

  5. Do not remove the review function unless the problem is severe and you have exhausted all other options.

    Reviews are good for search engine optimisation (SEO), so it’s crucial you only remove your review function (if the platform allows for this) if you absolutely have to do so.

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